After months of hearing about how the Orioles would have to be sellers, they turned into slight buyers at the trade deadline. Right at the deadline on Monday afternoon, they snuck in a deal that brings former #1 overall pick Tim Beckham to the Orioles in exchange for minor league pitcher Tobias Myers.
Beckham, 27, was picked first in the 2008 draft by the Rays. He has never really performed at the big league level to live up to that kind of draft hype. It took him until the 2015 season, when he was 25, to really break into the big leagues full time, and in three seasons since then, he’s batted a combined .245/.299/.421 in a bit more than a regular season’s worth of plate appearances.
Beckham has played all over the infield at the big league level. He was chiefly a shortstop while making his way up the minor league levels, and that’s where he spent most of his time this season as well.
With J.J. Hardy still absent for longer due to his injury and set to be a free agent at season’s end regardless, it could be that Beckham will be the O’s answer for a Hardy replacement. Beckham is a Super Two player making $885,000 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. He won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season. Unless he has a late-blooming breakout year, he’ll probably never be all that expensive.
To pick up Beckham, the Orioles gave up Myers, their sixth round pick in last year’s draft. Myers, still about a week shy of turning 19 years old, has been pitching for Aberdeen this season. The most interesting thing about him is that he went to the same high school as Trey Mancini. In seven games for Aberdeen this season, Myers has a 3.94 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched.
The players who Dan Duquette has traded away who have found success stick in everybody’s craw, but the fact is that most of the time he trades away nobodies to get these sorts of players.
If the Rays turn Myers into something four years down the road, that will be irritating, but it’s not like a deal where they traded away Zach Davies, who could be a rotation answer right now if they hadn’t traded him. Myers is a long way away from the big leagues. And the O’s have a spot open for Beckham right now. It could be worse.
This was a surprise deadline deal and not the most significant one that fans might have hoped the Orioles would make. Here’s hoping it works out.